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Originally uploaded by semioticguerrillawarfare
More on my Seattle trip soon. In the meantime, photos are on flickr.
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After what feels like a bajillion years of knitting (in an all-over pattern with hard-to-see black yarn in a teeny tiny sock weight on teeny tiny needles, no less), I am finally finished with Thermal. Whew. Well, finished except for the buttons--unless I can find some suitable ones around the house, I need to buy some. But that's not much left to do, and it's even sort of wearable-looking without them.

I've also made some more progress on the Brandi gloves--I'm up to the thumb-hole on the second one, so pretty soon I should have them both ready for fingers. Then I'll just have the duplicate-stitching and finishing left to go.

I've been watching a lot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show on dvd while I work and stuff. I forgot how much I liked it. Even though it's almost forty years old (I've been watching the first season, from 1970) and the sensibility is a bit dated/different from my own (e.g. how badly Mary and Rhoda want to get married), I find it really relatable. There are moments when it gets into stuff about women's friendships, office weirdness, the difficulty of dealing with unwanted attention from men, and other things I've had my own experiences with in a way that I don't think I've seen represented on any other show. When you think about it, there haven't been that many tv shows about women who have regular jobs and live in one-room apartments and who aren't married and aren't mothers. Plus I think I just relate to it because I'm a somewhat Mary Richards-esque person, though that's not a side of me everybody sees. Anyways, watching the show has been fun and comforting and surprisingly thought-provoking at times. I think one of these days I'm going to have to get my own copy of the first season dvds, if not the later ones, just to have them around.

While I had the dvds out from the store I took some screencaps of the beret Mary wears in the famous hat-throwing scene in the opening credits. I'm thinking about trying to knit one like it or at least something similar. I don't know if anybody would be interested in it but me, but if I do try to reproduce it I think I'll try to write it up into a pattern in case anyone else wants to knit it too.
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If you're wondering why I haven't posted lately, it's because I haven't been doing much of anything besides homework. Today I turned in my second final project, leaving one more paper, for Whiteness, due Tuesday. I'm going to need to work on it every day til it's due, but it's a good amount of time to do a good job on the assignment. After that, I'll be done for the year.

So, sorry if I've been being boring. In a few more days, I'll probably have a lot more stuff to post about and more time to do it in.

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Last night when the doctor gave Maurice the phenobarbital injection there was a radio nearby playing "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star. Now it's in my head every single minute.

I think a bit later when I am feeling up to it I will write a longer thing about Maurice. His history, our first meeting, and so on. I think it would help me feel better.

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So, I've been thinking about it for a while now and I think I'm going to make it official--I'm locking my journal for a while. I don't relish the idea of blocking it from people I know who don't have journals, or even a few people I don't. The problem with having my journal unlocked isn't with strangers reading it, it's certain people I know, or people who know people I know. To anybody who's been reading who has an account, comment if you'd like to be added. To anyone who doesn't have an account--Bard friends, including J.P., Austin friends, including C.D., or anybody else for that matter--if you think it would be worth spending a few extra seconds when you look at my journal, especially if there are any other livejournals you read, you should really think about setting up an account (you don't actually have to post if you don't want to). If you don't feel comfortable doing that, I'm honestly sorry you won't be able to read this anymore and if there was another way I could lock certain people out and not y'all I would do it.

This might be the only post on my public page for quite a while, so here's a message for posterity: if you want me to add you, the best way to let me know is probably to leave a comment here. Don't be shy, I'm usually pretty open to adding new people.

edited to add: I think I was unclear before--if you're on my friends list now, you're staying. When I said for people with accounts to leave comments, I meant people who I haven't added already. Sorry!
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I had a really interesting evening last night. My Theory and Literature professor assigned us a paper where we have to analyze a cultural space, and the space I ended up using was a strip club near campus. I'd been meaning to go for a while and it just hadn't worked out. It turned out that my timing was better than I thought, because I really don't think I'd have had as good an experience at any other time. If the experiences my classmates had are any indication, I think it's true.

So, I had a couple of drinks with Sara at the Longbranch beforehand, then met up with Marlene and Jacob at the place. The first girl we saw was very jiggly and favored hiphop accompaniment. The next was very thin but did these really complex moves, and danced to some weird hard rock songs that sounded like they were composed specifically for the stripper market because they could never get played on the radio. Towards the end of her time onstage, one of the other girls came by and asked us what kind of music we liked. I wasn't sure what to say that could possibly apply to the setting, but Sara thought fast and said, "80s." So this girl was up next, and she started with Lullaby by the Cure. All the other dancers were wearing fluorescent stuff that glowed under the black lights, but she was all in black except for the skulls and stuff on her kneesocks. She had nice tattoos, too. Anyways, her performance on that first song convinced me and Sara to tip her during the next one, which turned out to be Zombie by the Cranberries. We went up to the spot at the base of the "T" formed by the stage where people went to tip the girls, and Marlene joined us. I think she liked having a bunch of shy girls come up to the stage for her--she gave us a sort of "aw, you guys" smile. I managed to do the expected procedure (the insertion of the money into the g-string), but only on my second try, after fumbling it nervously the first time. Then we sat back down and she did one more dance to Tainted Love.

A few minutes after her set (is that an ok word to use?) our favorite dancer came and sat with us. She started out on my lap and at first she was more on the flirty side (flattering us about how cute we all were and how she'd rather talk to interesting-looking people like us than the usual boring, creepy dudes, complimenting me on my glasses), but pretty soon she pulled up a chair and just started talking to us, and eventually just to me after Sara got up for a while. She said she'd rather hang out and talk with us than do other stuff that would make her money but that she wouldn't enjoy. It's interesting, she talked about having customers that just wanted someone to listen to them talk, but I think she really needed somebody to listen to her that night. It was really interesting getting her perspective on things. It's too bad it's really outside of the purview of my paper to do any sort of interviews, but hearing what she had to say still gave me a lot to think about, and not just for my paper.

The whole thing was pretty eye-opening, actually. I was surprised by some of my reactions. I kept having this impulse to go dance with the strippers. It just seemed wrong that they were up there all by themselves. It was interesting to see how it felt being in a space where unabashedly staring at another person is sanctioned, even encouraged. Sometimes it was sort of enjoyable and other times I found myself avoiding looking in certain ways even though those sorts of looking are supposed to be the whole point of being in that place. Another interesting thing was how seeing the strippers made me think about my self-image issues. I would have thought they would make me feel bad about myself, but actually, they weren't all that different from me. And just the fact of seeing a bunch of scantily clad women in all their diversity of sizes and shapes was kind of neat. Of course, there were icky things too. A creepy guy who ogled Sara and Marlene and I as if our presence in that space meant it was ok to treat us like we were on display. The guy my stripper friend told me about, in the corner behind us, who paid her to spit on him and ash in his beer. The strangely misogynist lyrics of some of the music. But even the weird parts were really interesting.
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I'm curious as to whether anybody's reading this who isn't on my friends list. I can think of at least one person who might be (are you there, Justice?) but I don't know if there are any more. I'm asking because I'm thinking about locking my journal for a while, making it viewable by friends only. If you've been reading and you have a livejournal account but we aren't "friends," I could totally add you. If you don't have an account, you could always set one up just to look at stuff and not post yourself. But if there were enough people reading this who don't have accounts and don't want to bother with getting them, I might reconsider the locking thing.

Plus, it's just nice to know who's reading. So even if you don't care if I lock my journal, if you've been reading up to this point I'd like to know you're out there.

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I had a nice time hanging out with Monk and Cole the other day. When Lainie left in the morning, she jokingly said that all three of us should be on our best behavior. Later on, Cole put a blanket over both of our heads. Monk said, "Are you guys making out in there? Susan, I thought Mom told you to be on your best behavior." I told Cole that I only like him as a friend. He took it pretty well.

I watched Red River for my Alternative Poetics class today. That's where my post title comes from--the cook on the big cattle drive tells this one guy that his "sugar tooth" was as bad as a "whiskey tongue." And it turned out to be true--the guy kept sneaking sugar from the chuck wagon and one night he accidentally knocked all the pots over and it made so much noise that the cattle stampeded and one of the guys died. So John Wayne shot Sugartooth in the shoulder. It was kind of a weird movie.

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I went to see The Spirit of the Beehive tonight. When Eliot reminded me about the screening he was thinking that I had told him it was a favorite movie of mine, but I had never seen it before. The funny thing is, I think it might really end up being one of my favorite films, though I feel like I'd need to see it again to really be sure. I'm not very good at describing movies right after I've seen them, it makes me feel weird. But the Guardian article gives a really good description of what's special about it.

Last night I stayed up later than I should have watching something very different. Masterpiece Theater was being re-run at 3 a.m. and I got sucked into it because this week's show was based on a Philip Pullman book (The Ruby in the Smoke) and starred Billie Piper from Doctor Who. (Mary Jessica, if it had not been three in the morning I would have called you to make sure you knew it was on TV.) Anyways, it wasn't a new favorite thing like the movie I saw tonight, but it was worth staying up way too late for. It's amazing I made it through, really, after getting very little sleep the night of Brandi and Toto's party.

It was an interesting weekend. The aforementioned party was good. I brought some cupcakes and some bourbon. There were nice encounters with lots of different people, including some I hadn't seen in a while. By the end of the evening we were considering starting a game of "Strip Cranium" but that never actually happened, which is probably for the best. it's probably more fun in my imagination than it would have been in reality.

I also finally played Capture the Flag, but not for long, since before the first round was over somebody got a serious injury for the second time in recent Capture the Flag history--Clarke collided with Dave and broke his nose. Luckily he seemed to be doing ok when we saw him later than evening and his prognosis sounded good. Personally, even during the partial round I played, I took a pretty serious spill. I didn't hurt myself too bad, though, I just ended up with grass-burn on my palms, a grass stain on my pants, and some leg-bruises. But it was worth it to feel all tough and sporty, two qualities I don't often see in myself.

On that note, I'm going to go eat a pot pie.
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For the first time in a long time, I'm going to post about knitting. Here goes nothin'.

The current situation: I'm working on Kelly's gloves again (since I finally got the needles I needed after repeatedly losing one after another of my old dpns). I've started on the ring finger of the second glove; when it's done I'll just have to do the pinkie. I'm also fixing to start knitting an Interlocking Balloons scarf for Karen. I knitted one before for my friend J, which you can see on Karen's flickr here. I'm looking forward to it--it's a really fun pattern. I also still need to finish Salina. I found the pattern really confusing when it came time to split the front into two sides, but I think if I sit down with the instructions and chart out where everything goes on some graph paper I can make it work. Once I do that I should be able to finish it pretty quickly.

Even though I have two projects on the needles that I've been plugging away on for months and another I'm getting ready to start, I'm thinking about what to knit next. Maybe it's just the weather, I don't know, but I'm feeling like getting back into knitting in earnest. It usually doesn't take me very long at all to make stuff, it's just that I get sidetracked and get out of the habit of knitting. Well, and sometimes I don't have any discretionary income for yarn purchases. Now is one of those times, actually. But I might as well think about what I might do when that changes. So, here's some stuff I've been thinking about.

I've been thinking for a while about knitting this shawl, despite its dopey name. Adrian from Hello Yarn did a nice version of it a while back. I'd like to make it out of Morehouse Merino, one of the naturally brown colors (from brown sheep). But I wonder about the whole shawl concept. Would I actually wear such a thing? As nice as it is, any shawl knitted in worsted weight yarn is going to be kind of like a wearable blanket. Which sounds kind of appealing, but maybe it's just appealing to my frumpy tendences in a way I should avoid.

Cardigans are a lot more unequivocally useful. Poking around the knitting blogs for the first time in forever, I came across lucy in the sky, by Laura who does the Cosmicpluto blog. Karen pointed me toward Forecast by Stefanie Japel. I'd use different yarn and make the sleeves less blowsy and probably shrink down the bobbles, but I've seen some really nice versions of this sweater on blogs and on flickr.

But the most practical thing would probably be to make myself some little things for when it gets cold. I have a nice cabled hat I made out of my own handspun last year, but I could use another hat if I found a pattern I really liked. Lately I've been seeing a lot of nice fair isle hats. I'd like to knit myself a scarf but I haven't seen a pattern that really grabbed me more than lots of others. Maybe I should just resign myself to making a few different ones and rotating them around. Or I could just keep my neck warm with something else. Somewhere buried in my papers there's a pattern for a neckwarmery thing called a Flared Lace Smoke Ring--you can see a lovely version by Cassie here. The notion of a lace neckwarmer sounds dumb to me in the abstract, but in practice I think it looks really nice and it could be less of a hassle than a big scarf but just about as warm. And making Kelly's gloves makes me want to make gloves for myself, though given the Texas weather I'd probably cut off the fingers around the first knuckle so I could still use my hands.

I could also use a new pullover, especially if Salina doesn't work out too well. Most of my sweaters are old and full of holes. One thing I've been thinking about is making something out of a nice self-striping Noro yarn like Kureyon, like Alison Brainylady's version Interweave's Retro Prep pattern. I'm also thinking about knitting a top-down raglan out of all the interesting scraps of yarn I've accumulated since I started knitting. There used to be a few nice scrap sweaters you could look at online, but the ones I used to look at have all been taken down for one reason or another. Suffice it to say that even though a scrap sweater sounds like it would look totally insane, the ones I've seen were actually really wearable.

But I have another idea for a pullover that is totally impractical. I was watching The Science of Sleep back when it was in the theaters. There's this scene, one of the dream ones, where the main character is using this instrument that has piano keys but stuff rolls out of it like pages from a typewriter. But the stuff that comes out is knitted--it's a knitted landscape. It reminded me of something in a book I have. It's a compendium of stuff on various needlecrafts--sewing, knitting, embroidery, pretty much anything involving a needle. It's from 1978 so the design sensibility is a little dated, but in an interesting way. There's a project in there called a "picture sweater." It's not a pattern per se, more a set of instructions on how to design something using an existing pattern. It's a pullover with a landscape across the front. I should try to scan the photo and post it--it's really strange yet oddly compelling. Anyways, ever since Michel Gondry reminded me about that landscape sweater I've been thinking about knitting one myself. I just don't have any good ideas about what sort of landscape it would be. Maybe watching the movie again would help--it's coming out on dvd soon.

So that's what I'm thinking about right now, knitting-wise. It might be another six months or whatever until I post on the subject again, but I hope I'll have something to report sooner than that.

eta: Of course as soon as I post this some new Knitty patterns are released and I actually end up liking one of them. Bonus: it would be my excuse to try to do a three-needle bind-off for the first time.
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